Fish Identification: Queen Angelfish

On many reef dives, the beautiful queen angelfish may be so kind as to grace you with its presence. Fortunately, the protocol for visiting this royalty is fairly lax.

Physical description

Angelfish are unmistakeable, with the queen no exception. They have very flat, disc-shaped bodies, with blunt, rounded heads.

The dorsal and anal fins extend along the top and bottom of the body, trailing backwards like the fins on a sports car.

It is the coloring that sets the queen angelfish apart from its peasant brethren. In total, it is a combination of brilliant blues and yellows. Look for a dark ring on its forehead speckled with blue spots. This “crown”, along with the completely yellow tail, distinguish the queen angelfish from the blue angelfish.

The fish is mostly yellow with tints of blue. Blue also lines the queen’s fins, as well as blue on its gill covers. These colors are particularly noticeable because of their iridescent appearance.

Geography and habitat

Look for queen angelfish all through the Caribbean, from Bermuda down to Brazil.

They are found mostly on reefs, near the bottom. The queen angelfish will either be by itself or in pairs, although its mate is not a king angelfish, as you’d expect. :)

Further reading

Florida Museum of Natural History
Aquatic Community

Photo by laszlo-photo